Truck drivers transporting goods to or from United States' ports could face fewer restrictions under a bill before Congress that seeks to ease supply-chain woes.
Rep. Michelle Fischbach, R-Minn., is lead House sponsor of the SHIP IT Act, which would temporarily lift requirements such as the minimum age to obtain a commercial driver's license and the number of hours a driver is allowed to work. It would also require officials to identify federal land to store empty cargo containers.
"Congress should seize any opportunity to ease supply-chain tensions. The SHIP IT Act would do this by targeting specific needs in ports, shipping, and trucking," Fischbach said in a statement. "I am proud to introduce this legislation and urge my colleagues to put it to a vote so workers and consumers can start to feel some relief from this supply-chain crisis."
The SHIP IT Act expands on the STOP the GRINCH Act, which Fischbach introduced in the House late last year. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, is lead Senate sponsor of both measures.
The Senate unanimously passed another supply-chain-focused bill in March — the Ocean Shipping Reform Act, led by Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar — that would make it harder for ocean carriers to turn away goods at ports.
Emma Nelson is a Star Tribune metro team leader with an emphasis on St. Paul coverage. She previously reported on the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and Scott and Dakota counties.